Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) involves signs and symptoms that can be seen and felt by doctors during physical exams. But the common symptoms reported by patients such as fatigue, pain, swelling and tenderness of the joints are also key. In fact, a recent study found that approximately 1/3 of patients with PsA complain of inflammation in their tendons and ligaments.
Changes to your nails like lesions, pitting or crumbling could be warning signs that PsA is present. The disease can also develop in a joint after an injury and may mimic a cartilage tear so be mindful of that nagging ‘running injury’ that just doesn’t seem to get better.
of people with PsA have changes in their nails.
Dr. Catherine Ivory discusses the detailed physical exam involved in diagnosing PsA, including looking for psoriasis or other key clues in some unusual places.
The diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis is not always an easy one to make because the symptoms can easily be blamed on something else like gout, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, and they can vary greatly from patient to patient. What a medical expert like a dermatologist or rheumatologist often has to do is put together many different clues to make the diagnosis...
A person’s fingernails or toenails can hold important clues in diagnosing psoriatic arthritis. Nail lesions occur in almost 90% of people with PsA. Researchers studying psoriatic arthritis noted that rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis can occur together. However, the presence of 20 nail pits on a patient distinguishes them as having PsA instead of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis...